Frozen shoulder is characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. Frozen shoulder is also called adhesive capsulitis. This ailment begins gradually and worsens with time. It typically is caused by prolonged immobilization of the shoulder.

Frozen shoulder has three stages, painful, frozen, and thawing. The first stage, painful, is characterized by pain with movement and the range of motion (ROM) is limited. The second stage, frozen, is stiffness in the shoulder and ROM is decreased immensely. Thawing is the stage when the shoulders ROM starts to improve. Frozen shoulder occurs when the capsule around the shoulder thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint. This process restricts movement and is typically a result of prolonged shoulder immobilization. People who are at high risk for contracting frozen shoulder are women, people who are over 40 years of age, people who have shoulder immobilization from fracture, stroke, injury, or surgery, and people who suffer from diseases such as diabetes, hyper or hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis, and Parkinson’s. Typical tests that physical therapists perform to determine frozen shoulder are raising hands above the head, reaching across the body, and reaching to scratch your back. Solutions to frozen shoulder include medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, joint distension, shoulder manipulation, and in rare cases surgery. Alternative approaches include acupuncture and electro-stimulation. The most beneficial and noninvasive way to treat frozen shoulder would be through physical therapy. Physical therapy is the best solution in most cases because it mobilizes the shoulder without causing harm or more pain. People who think they might have frozen shoulder should seek medical help before the point of complete lack of movement.

Frozen shoulder is painful and can be dealt with easily if properly dealt with from the beginning. Schedule at Scott Family Health today for all of your frozen shoulder needs.